New South Wales at last

We are on our way to Tasmania. We have been on our way to Tasmania for a month. We could get depressed

We are going nowhere. A month of trying to get to Tasmania and we only made 900 km. Google Maps says we could have driven here in nine hours. The wind is always against us or there is no wind or there is a storm. And the motor has a problem and the boat leaks and …”

But that is not us.

A month ago we left Bundaberg heading South with a plan to sail the 2600 km to Tasmania. Since then we have enjoyed fantastic sailing and are convinced that Artemis is much faster with her new antifouling.

Artemis at anchor in Coffs Harbour

The periods of no wind, too much wind or head wind have given us the time to revisit Fraser Island, visit friends and see new places on the way south. We have always found well sheltered places to hide as the storms come through.

We were in Coffs Harbour waiting for the wind and so we had time to go mountain biking. The bikes are the perfect way to see “behind the scenes” where ever we are. This time we cycled through housing estates and then out in to the countryside. We started to climb a hill when Heidi’s pedal had a problem. Back on the road a council worker lent us his adjustable spanner to fix the pedal and then gave us a refill of iced water. A dream! Back in the hills we climbed a stupidly steep track and then trailed back down a long flowy route through the forest. A mountain bike is like a boat – freedom!

In Coffs Harbour we also let the locals convince us that the sea was now safe with absolutely no crocodiles and probably nothing else too dangerous. Feeling very bold Neill dived off the boat and Heidi took the more sedate route down the ladder. (How can any one climb slowly in to cold water feeling it slowly rise up around you and then it reaches the top of your legs! No way!) Even if the sea is “refreshing” it is great to be back in the water.

The Hastings River. Boats at anchor. Port Macquaerie in the distance. A water plna elanding next to us.

The main engine was failing to start occasionally but we have identified the problem, patched up a fix and are now in correspondence with Davo about how too fix it properly. The advantage of being a sail boat is that the engine is mostly a “nice option” – unless you are drifting towards the coast with no wind, then it becomes mission critical.

In the galley (kitchen) we had a leak but while in Port Macquarie Heidi decided that the time had come to “sort it out”. A day later the necessary woodwork had been removed, the internal hole plugged and the external hole sealed with epoxy. Half way through the job we had our first hail storm since we left sailing but the following downpour proved that we had stopped the leak.

And today the local maritime patrol guy came past in his patrol boat for a chat and offered some advice about crossing the river bar tomorrow.

Life isn’t so bad 🙂

3 thoughts on “New South Wales at last”

  1. Hello to you both glad to see you are on the way to Tas.take your time (see the the moment )
    when in Hobart make sure you visit the whisky distillery close to the main wharf if you think scotch is good wait until you try the one there..also the oldest brewery in Australia .in case you are wondering who i am i was the old guy with a walking stick speaking to Heidi. out side Kmart in Bundaberg and practising some German. wish you both safe sailing and Happy Christmas .regards Graham Jakson (ex Manchester in 1953 )

    1. Hello Greyham, we were delighted to receive your reply. Honestly, I was totally sure you would email us, and now it’s here.
      Thank you for your information about Tasi and we will take our time with our trip, because for us snow belongs in the Alps in winter and not in Tasmania in summer 🙂 .

      P.S. you were the friendly elderly gentleman who flirted with me 🙂
      best regards

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